thing i'd ever seen. >> so he took action, helping write guidelines that this year became state law. it applies to non-cancer chronic pain patients. it mandates prescriber education, treatment plans called pain contracts between physicians and patients, and tracking of opioid use. if states don't follow new laws reflecting best practices and universal precautions so opioids can be used safely and effectively, this will never turn around. >> the washington state law does have its share of critics, many of whom are patients dealing with pain right now. they are particularly concerned about one provision. it requires that if a physician wants to provide a daily dose of an opiate above a certain amount, he or she must first consult with a pain specialist. problem is there aren't enough specialists. >> there are not enough pain docs in the world to take care of all the patients in king county, let alone seattle. >> today on a scale of zero to ten what would you rate your pain as? >> that is why the center for pain relief is inundated with referrals. >> valerie edwards from sitka, alaska.